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Let the Church Arise from Doubt

Dear Companions in Christ,

Standing in the wake of the first in-person Easter Sunday service we’ve had in almost three years, it’s hard not to be grateful for the opportunity to once again celebrate the resurrection with you - all amid the sounds of trumpets, the aromas of Easter breakfast, and the delightfully colorful flowers of the season! I don’t know about you, but I was ready for such a morning!

Yet year after year, on the Sunday following this mountaintop experience, we find ourselves back in an uncomfortable, even if familiar place. John’s gospel shares the story of “Doubting Thomas,” which some of you certainly recognize as a misnomer. I even go as far as saying that Thomas is something of our patron saint.

I can’t quite put it in a better form than many writers already have, including Miguel de Uanmuno, who said “those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself (sic).” That’s a pretty complex statement to unpack and appreciate, but suffice it to say that this Sunday, I hope to explore some of the many faces of “doubt, disillusionment, and despair” as nearly inevitable aspects of a discipleship journey. Many of you will recognize at least one of these attributes as a contemporary companion.

During the Lenten season, I’ve joined many of our members in appreciating Kate Bowlers’ “Beatitudes” as found in her new volume, “Good Enough.” So perhaps it’s fitting to this “teaser” in the form of Brian McLaren’s equivalents which conclude his volume “Faith After Doubt.”

“Blessed are the curious, for their curiosity honors reality.

Blessed are the uncertain and those with second thoughts, for their minds are still open.

Blessed are the wonders, or they shall find what is wonderful.

Blessed are those who question their answers, for their horizons will expand forever.

Blessed are those who often feel foolish, for they are wiser than those who always think themselves wise.

Blessed are those who know their unknowing, for they shall have the last laugh.

Blessed are the perplexed , for they have reached the frontiers of contemplation.

Blessed are they who have become cynical about their cynicism and suspicious of their suspicion, for they will enter a second innocence.

Blessed are the doubters, for they shall see through false gods.”

Hope to see you in worship, in our engaging new Adult Forum series, in “Family Sunday School,” and/or at next weekend’s NAMI Walk (4/30)!

Another pilgrim in faith,

Pastor Tim

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